Copenhagen: PhD course in Human Digestion and Absorption - a Mechanistic Understanding


Although oral drug delivery is the most common and convenient way for patients to take medicine, there is still a gap in the general knowledge on the gastro-intestinal tract and the mechanism of absorption for both drugs and nutrient. When designing oral drug delivery systems, it is important to have a fundamental knowledge of digestive processes and the impact of intestinal fluid composition on dissolution of the drug. Further, the microbiota and the intestinal immune system can also play a role for the therapeutic effect of the drug. Drug absorption can be dependent on active transport or efflux transporters. Finally, selecting suitable in vitro and in vivo models for characterization of the drug and delivery system can be essential for a successful drug development. 

Learning objectives

1. Achieve a detailed insight into the anatomy and physiology of the gastro-intestinal tract, and its role in solubilization and absorption of drugs

2. Understand the physiological effects of food intake and the influence of food intake on drug absorption

3. Get insights into development of targeted drug delivery system, e.g. to the colon

4. Have an overall understanding of the role of microbiota in health and disease, and the potential influence on drug delivery

5. Be able to select a suitable in vitro model for development of an oral delivery system


The course is relevant for PhD students and others within life and medical sciences, who desires to get a better understanding of the human gastro-intestinal tract.

This course is free of charge for PhD students at Danish universities (except Copenhagen Business School), and for PhD students at graduate schools in the other Nordic countries. All other participants must pay the course fee.

Anyone can apply for the course, but if you are not a PhD student at a Danish university, you will be placed on the waiting list until enrollment deadline. This also applies to PhD students from Nordic countries. After the enrollment deadline, available seats will be allocated to applicants on the waiting list.

Course is taught in English.


You may find the registration information here.


It is a 5-day course comprising about 25 lectures and group work. The group work will be finalized with a presentation on the last day.

Course director

Anette Müllertz, Professor, Department of Pharmacy, UCPH,

Ragna Berthelsen, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy, UCPH,

Jette Jacobsen, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy, UCPH,

Daniel Bar-Shalom, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy, UCPH,